Kids Can Make: Play Dough

Here's a fun and easy project the whole family can work on together!

Related To:

Food Network Kitchen’s Kids Can Make Play Dough for "Kids Can Make", as seen on Food Network.

Food Network Kitchen’s Kids Can Make Play Dough for "Kids Can Make", as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Why continue to purchase Play Dough for your kids when you can make it at home using a handful of basic pantry ingredients? Our easy recipe yields 5 cups of dough in just 30 minutes — and it might come together even faster if the whole family pitches in! Let your little ones measure all the ingredients, and the older kids can help stir and cook the dough. Everyone can take a turn adding the food coloring at the end.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • Assorted food coloring
  • Food-safe gloves

First, mix together the flour, water, salt, oil and cream of tartar in a large saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, begins to pull away from the sides of the saucepan and clumps in the center, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring, until the clumps form into a ball that darkens slightly in color and no longer looks wet, about 5 minutes more. Set aside until the play dough is cool enough to handle.

Next, turn the play dough out onto a clean cutting board and knead until very smooth, about 5 minutes. Divide into equal portions depending on the number of different colors you're making.

Now it's time to color each ball. Put on food-safe gloves, then add 5 drops of food coloring to the surface of a ball of dough and knead the food coloring into the dough until it is fully incorporated. Add more drops of food coloring to deepen the color if desired. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough (make sure to change your gloves or wash them in between each color).

It's as easy as that! For the freshest, longest-lasting play dough, be sure to store it in an airtight container at room temperature. This way, it will last for up to 2 weeks.

Next Up

This Is the Most Popular Kids Lunchbox on Amazon

This new Bento-style box will be the lunchbox all the cool kids are carrying this school year.

Class Act: Healthy Snack Ideas to Bring to School

Help your little ones and their classmates snack smarter this year.

How to Make Marshmallow Play Dough

Making your own edible play dough is child's play when you have marshmallows, plus a few pantry staples.

Great First Foods for Babies

Go beyond the jarred stuff with these healthy options.

Kid-Friendly Meals from Ree Drummond's Ranch

We're taking our cue from The Pioneer Woman and serving up kid-approved meals from her kitchen.

The Best Recipes for Teaching Kids How to Cook

And the real reason you should make time to do it.

5 Kid-Approved Recipes That Are Loaded with Green Veggies

Serve up good-for-you pizza, pasta and more.

Lessons in Family Tradition from 3 Black-Owned Food Businesses

Passed down through generations, these businesses demonstrate what it means to write history and build community through food.

Fun Thanksgiving Desserts for Kids

Think of them as edible handprint turkeys.

Make-Ahead Breakfasts (Picky) Kids Will Eat

Because the morning struggle doesn't have to be that bad.

Check Out Our

Get a sneak-peek of the new Food Network recipe page and give us your feedback.

See it Now!